Freud on Holiday (volume I) Freud Dreams of Rome
"Thought is after all nothing but a substitute for a hallucinatory wish … " Sigmund Freud. What would Freud's Rome, a city that loomed so large in his mind before he ever saw it, look like? Stop by the Freud House Museum in London to see Sharon Kivland's proposal, photographs extracted from her ongoing imaginary holiday journey with the father of psychoanalysis. Kivland's prints subtly decorate Freud's former house in Hampstead, hinting at some of the writer's ideas by guiding us through a tour not really of the city, but of his imagination. It is known historically that Freud dreamt of visiting Rome four times before achieving his wish (in 1901), and that these occasions all happened as he worked on his seminal 'The Interpretation of Dreams'. Freud's dreams looked nothing like the actual city. Point of view is warped, and the Roman backdrop is actually set in the Alps, or decorated with German posters – symbols of his own fears and wishes, tossed in with bits of recollections from the previous day, according to his own theory. Imagining and containing something of his longing, Kivland's images, awkward postcards of strangely angled and cropped corners and areas behind the typical sites, are drastically contrasted with its more familiar, monumentalising portrayal. Freud's uncanny holiday, hanging over the stairs at his house, is peopled by no one. Every place captured is empty, essentialised in some sense but symbolically hiding something, by its lack of activity. The spaces look dead, unless something lurks behind the shadows. The gallery notes describes the images as similar to night scenes, a feeling that comes through strongly looking at their dramatic, still composition. Kivland's images, embedded in Freud's fantasy yet resolutely picturing Rome as it is too, are an intriguing guide through the nature, hiding and revealing, of our own free association – Lupe Nunez–Fernandez.